Candace Fleming  
Seven Hungry Babies
  Atheneum, 2010
ages 3 to 6
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Seven Hungry Babies
written by Candace Fleming
illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

One spring morning, high in a nest, seven speckled eggs begin to CRAAAACK!

And seven hungry babies open their beaks wide.

What's a mama bird to do? Feed them, of course—one after the other.

Flappa-flap, swoop-swoop, zoom-zoom, yum!

But seven hungry hatchlings are a lot. Can one little mama manage them all?

Read the Reviews
When seven hungry chicks cry for food, Mama Bird happily ventures into the dangerous world to retrieve a bit of nourishment. The bad news? That still leaves six hungry chicks. So out she goes again, this time for a cherry, then a bread crust. With each return, the unfed chicks get increasingly riled, while the harried mother gets increasingly exhausted. Though Fleming’s rhyming scheme is ambitious, it’s ironclad in its meter and well positioned upon the page. Young listeners will be chanting along almost immediately: “Four hungry babies fret, sulk, and pout. ‘Feed us! Feed us!’ the little ones shout. / ‘Hush, you little egg-crackers,’ Mama Bird coos, ‘and I’ll fly to the garden to find you more food.” The countdown element is irresistible—the number of hungry chicks decreases right along with Mama Bird’s energy. Though the gouache art is a little plain, it humorously returns to the same composition for each round of feeding. Just the thing to turn a large-group read-aloud into a frenzied chicken coop.

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